Follow TV Tropes


Friendly Address Privileges

Go To

Dominic Greene: My friends call me Dominic.
James Bond: I'm sure they do.

When a character wants to make things a little less formal, perhaps to show how amicable and gracious they are, or just because they're laid back and being friendly, they might decide to drop the formalities and invite others to use their first name, or even a nickname.

A common subversion is for the other character to then pointedly abstain from using the more casual name, or for the first character to specify that while their friends call them that, the character they are talking to shouldn't.

A subtrope of Don't Call Me "Sir". When subverted, often overlaps with They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!. Compare First-Name Basis and Significant Name Shift.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Accel World, Chocolat Puppetteer is fine with being called "Choco" for short, but says the only ones who can call her "Coco" are her parent, Mint Mitten, and her child, Plum Flippernote , so she gets angry when Magenta Scissor, the villain responsible for parasitizing both her friends with the ISS kit, calls her that.
  • After warming up to the other club members, Yuu Nanami of Asteroid in Love insists that it's fine for Ao and Chikage to call her "Nana," as Mira does.
  • In Buso Renkin, Kousaku Chouno refuses to let anyone call him by his birth name which reflects his weaker self, after he transforms into a Homunculus. He has made it intimidatingly clear: only the rival he hates, Kazuki Mutou the "hypocrite", is allowed to do so.
  • Fairy Tail
    • At the start of the series, Erza tells Lucy, whom she's just met, that she doesn't need to use "-san" on her; interestingly enough, this is some time before they actually become friends. That said, Erza seems to at least be willing to tolerate this bit of formality from some of her other friends, such as the exceptionally polite Wendy.
    • During the Tower of Heaven arc, Juvia and Lucy have a bit of a frosty relationship, due to Juvia's jealousy of Lucy. However, after they cooperate to defeat Vidaldus, Lucy notices that Juvia, who'd called her "Lucy-san" until then, called her "Lucy" toward the end of the fight. Lucy encourages Juvia to drop the honorific, and Juvia agrees.
  • In the Fist of the North Star movie Legends of the Dark King, Raoh has been steadily building his empire while publicly calling himself Ken-Oh, the "King of Fists". When one of his closest friends and lieutenants addresses him by this title, he asks to be simply addressed as Raoh since they are in private and don't need to keep up the facade for the underlings.
  • Carim provides a variation in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS during a meeting. After being amused by seeing the Harlaown siblings stoically address each other by their rank, she reminds everyone that she's known Chrono for a while and tells them to just address each other as they would if they were off duty. Fate's response to this is to call Chrono "onii-chan", much to his embarrassment.
  • My Hero Academia: Tsuyu Asui would really prefer it if you called her 'Tsu' (Tsuyu-chan in the Japanese version). The only exception was a Serial Killer villain who only heard the nickname accidentally. Deku calls her Asui (with the honorific -san in the original version), but she knows he doesn't mean anything bad by it, and will just gently correct him.
  • In an early episode of Princess Tutu, star ballet student Rue objects to Duck simply calling her by her name on account of not being close enough friends with her, and tries to insist on "Lady Rue" instead. Duck disagrees, because she does consider Rue a friend.


    Comic Books 
  • In the comics continuation of Gargoyles, an English gargoyle called Staghart insists that his friends call him "Amp", which his best friend is quick to remind him is simply not true. Lexington is the only one who does. Perhaps they're meant to be more than just friends?
  • In Strangers in Paradise, Katchoo insisted that David call her Katina once after a fierce argument. "Only my friends call me 'Katchoo'!"
  • Gambit plays with this a little in Uncanny X-Men.
    To my friends, de name's Remy LeBeau. To my enemies, it's Gambit! You can go on ahead an' forget dat first name right about now.
  • Fables: Boreas Frostheart, having arrived at the Farm to train his grandchildren in the use of their powers, invites Snow White to call him "Father," even though she and his son Bigby are not yet married.

    Fan Works 
  • Discussed in Bucky Barnes Gets His Groove Back & Other International Incidents. Black Widow's real name is Natalia, but since she introduced herself to Hawkeye by its diminutive Natasha, she's officially Natasha. She laments that Americans just see 'Natasha' as a name, when to her it sounds like everyone is calling her 'babygirl' or the like.
  • In Daphne Greengrass and the Boy Who Lived, after Harry has spent time getting Quidditch training from Daphne’s mother (a former star Chaser who now owns her own team), she suggests that he call her “Coach Greengrass” in future as ‘Mrs Greengrass’ sounds too old (she also jokingly observes that it’s too early for Harry to call her ‘Mum’ even as she favours a relationship between him and Daphne).
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami has Keeper Mercury being named the ruler of a continent by The Light, thus giving her the title of Empress. She forces her minions to refer to her as Empress to avoid the negative connotations that come with being called a Keeper, but asks for her closest advisors and friends to keep referring to her simply as Mercury.
  • No stars in sight: Ikharos gets very particular about who is allowed to call him "Ike", only granting permission to those he considers his closest friends. The Exo Stranger specifically warns Formora not to call him by that nickname unless she wants to test his patience. When the Stranger herself addresses Ikharos as Ike during a You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious moment, she gets chastised for not having "earned" that privilege yet.
  • In Of Patience and Pettiness, Alya loses the right to call Marinette 'Mari' or her bestie after she refuses to believe her warnings about Lila. After Lila's true nature is revealed, Alya attempts to act like things are all back to normal now, only for Marinette to repeatedly make clear to her that she no longer considers her to be one of her friends, and to stop calling her by her nickname.
  • Shadows over Meridian: After Jade introduces herself as Queen of the Shadowkhan, she makes it clear to Raythor — the only person to treat her kindly on Meridian, and thus the only one she considers a friend — that he can just keep calling her Kage, the alias he knows her by.
  • Throughout the main story of the Sleeper Hit AU, Kirishima fondly calls Bakugou 'Bakubro'. His faith in his buddy takes a beating as he learns more about his past, and when Katsuki reveals that his biggest regret about telling Midoriya to kill himself is that he didn't go through with it, he drops the nickname entirely, pointedly addressing him by his last name.
  • Tattered Capes Under a Shattered Moon: Alabaster asks Collin to call him "Al" after apologizing for being hostile at first.
  • When Empress Izanami and Pyrrha formally meet in Chapter 78 of BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant, she gives the champion the privilege to refer to her as Hades rather than her royal titles.

    Film — Animated 
  • From Aladdin: The Return of Jafar:
    Aladdin: My friends call me Al. You can call me Aladdin.
  • From Disney's Hercules:
    Megara: Megara. My friends call me Meg. At least, they would if I had any friends.
  • From Fun and Fancy Free
    Jiminy Cricket: The name's Cricket. J. Cricket. You could call me Jiminy.
  • From Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, when Peter B. realizes whom he's been talking to.
    Peter B.: (strangled) Can I assume that your friends call you Doc Ock?
    Olivia: My friends actually call me "Liv." My enemies call me Doc Ock.
    Aunt May: Oh great, it's Liv.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Aliens: After arriving on the colony planet, the Colonial Marines only find one survivor, a mute, traumatized 10 year old girl who they identify as “Rebecca Jorden” from a school certificate. Lt Gorman impatiently tries to get some answers out of her by addressing her by name, but shows absolutely no empathy, and is rewarded with continued silence. Ripley shows a kinder approach, still addressing her as "Rebecca", and the girl opens up to her by saying “Newt. My name’s Newt. Nobody calls me Rebecca, except my brother.”
  • Muppet Treasure Island:
    • Early on, when recruiting Jim:
      Jim: But we're just cabin boys, Mr. Silver.
      Long John: Long John, to his friends.
    • Which gets an Ironic Echo near the end:
      Long John: I could never kill you, lad. You're honest and brave and true. You didn't learn any of that from me.
      Jim: I learned it from my friends, Mr. Silver.
  • The American President combines this with Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep" and Don't Call Me "Sir" to produce a Defied Trope. Even President Shepherd's lifelong friend (and Chief of Staff) A.J. refuses to address him as anything except "Mr. President" and "Sir", as an ongoing theme of the movie is the question of where Andrew Shepherd ends and the President of the United States begins.
  • Played with in Blazing Saddles.
    Sheriff Bart: What's your name?
    The Waco Kid: Well, my name is Jim, but most people call me... Jim.
  • From Die Hard:
    Hans Gruber: Touching, Cowboy, touching. Or should I call you, Mr. McClane? Mr. Officer John McClane of the New York Police Department?
    John McClane: Sister Teresa called me Mr. McClane in the third grade. My friends call me John, and you're neither, shithead.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
    Criminal Kid: You didn't tell me your name.
    Jeannie: It's Jean, but a lot of guys call me Shauna.
    Criminal Kid: Okay, Jean.
  • The King's Speech Is zig-zagged over the entire film. Lionel keeps insisting on first names to create a relaxed atmosphere where the Prince keeps trying to keep things formal. Later, at the end does Lionel give a formal address.
  • Quantum of Solace included the quote above. Greene trying to act gracious, while Bond is being pretty blunt with the fact that he doesn't like him.
  • Invoked and promptly averted in Raising Arizona.
    Lenny: Leonard Smalls. My friends call me Lenny... but I ain't got no friends.
  • Inverted in Real Genius. However, Chris, Hathaway's star pupil, does have these privileges, much to Kent's chagrin.
    Kent: Hello, Jerry!
    Dr. Hathaway: I told you before, Kent: you don't get to use my first name.
  • RoboCop 3 has another variation His friends call him Murphy, but the OCP executive can call him RoboCop.
  • From Zardoz, when Zed sees that Arthur Frayn aka Zardoz is Not Quite Dead:
    Frayn: My Brutal friends call me Zardoz.
    [Frayn stabs Zed with a collapsible knife]
  • The Wild Geese. Though Old Soldiers may not get the point of doing so.
    Colonel Allen Faulkner: Sandy, when there's no-one around you can call me Allen.
    RSM Sandy Young: Yes sir, I will sir!
  • A Man Called Horse has a weird example - John orders his hired workers to call him John, becomes frustrated when they keep calling him Your Lordship, and seems insulted when one of them asks to be called Joe instead of Maddock.
  • In Change of Habit, Dr. John Carpenter tells his nurses that anyone who works for him for a week or more can call him John.
  • Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?: When Dr. Moses calls Georgie "Mr. Soloway," Georgie says, "Chrissake, I mean, seven years and you're still calling me Mr. Soloway. Aren't we buddies yet?" Dr. Moses calls him George after that.

  • Discworld in general has fun with this. In particular:
    • Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch has several tiers of these, thanks to his ever-growing list of titles. The rare few whom he really, really likes get to call him simply Mister Vimes. It's been mentioned a few times that it's pronounced like the one in "what do you think you're doing mister?"
      • There's also the unique case of Vimes' oldest friend, Sergeant Colon, who's literally the only person other than his wife who's allowed to address him as 'Sam', something he only does when he's very worried.
    • Also, the deceptively quiet former accountant Mr. Pessimal, who got "Mister Vimes" privileges in record time for defending the commander against a Troll.
      Vimes: This is Mr. A.E. Pessimal, plain A.E. if he ever makes friends.
    • This is carefully negotiated territory among witches, who make their trade in psychological manipulation and break out the good manners only when things get really nasty. The list of people who call Granny Weatherwax Esme is very, very short. Outside the Ramtops she's almost universally Mistress Weatherwax, and Tiffany Aching causes a sensation when she casually asks after "Granny."
    • Vetinari is very rarely addressed by his first name, Havelock. If someone first-names him who he doesn't want to be first-named by, he pointedly addresses them with their title, which seems to indicate that he isn't even comfortable with being on a first-name basis with his own aunt. But Sybil and Ridcully can both get away with it.
  • From the Doctor Who New Adventures novels, the Doctor's latest companion meets the Master for the first time (in First Frontier): "Summerfield. Bernice Summerfield. My friends call me Benny, but you can call me Professor Summerfield."
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The trope is subverted pretty often. Harry constantly corrects people (most often, Nicodemus Archleone and John Marcone) trying to call him by his first name, insisting that they would never be his friends. He also does it himself all the time to grind people's gears, continuing to use first names after being explicitly told not to. Though referring to the Archangel Uriel as just "Uri" earns him a sharp rebuke, since (as Harry quickly recalls) "El" is Hebrew for "of God", something very important to an angel — not to mention what happened to the guy who willingly dropped the "El" from his own name.
    • In Dead Beat, Harry and Warden Ramirez are riding around a necromantic hurricane on the back of a re-animated t-rex, and Harry refers to him as Ramirez.
      Ramirez: Everyone else who lets me ride on their dinosaur calls me Carlos.
  • In a Fabulous Five novel, Jana tries to befriend a homeless girl, who responds by saying, "Call me 'Liz'. Only my friends call me 'Lizzie'."
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Dr. Kornell Divini, in the Medstar Duology and Death Star, was given the Tusken nickname "Uli" in his childhood on Tatooine. Given the most mildly friendly interaction with someone he sees as a peer he tells them to call him Uli, all his friends do. In Death Star this includes the captive Princess Leia when he's treating her after she's tortured, at which point she tells him they're not friends, he's an Imperial officer. She then leverages his discomfort with the Empire to encourage his Heel–Face Turn, using his nickname as she does.
    • In The Fight for Truth, part of Jedi Apprentice, the heroes visit a world where everyone has only one name, but women prefix theirs with O- while men prefix theirs with V-. People who are friends or otherwise working closely together can give each other permission to drop the prefix. This shows in the narration, too. When V-Davi tells Obi-Wan and Siri that they can call him Davi, both dialogue and narration refer to him as Davi.
  • Tales of the Branion Realm: In The Painter Knight, Her Most Regal and Sacred Majesty Kassandra the Sixth (aged five) allows favorites to call her "Kasey". Or "Sparky". Her father Marsellus prefers "Leary" when he's out drinking.
  • Animorphs:
    • Ax always, always prefaces Jake's name with "Prince" (the Andalite term for commander), especially when Jake asks him not to. The following dialogue happens almost Once an Episode:
    Jake: Don't call me Prince.
    Ax: Yes, Prince Jake.
    • Although it's hinted that his insistence on calling minutes "(your) Earth minutes" is done as a joke, there is no such implication where Prince Jake is involved. Even in front of other Andalites, to whom the very concept of treating an alien as your superior is unimaginable.
    • Oddly enough, Ax doesn't have any hang-ups with everyone calling him Ax (or Ax-man), his full name being Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill.
  • My Dark Vanessa: After Vanessa and Mr. Strane kiss for the first time, she drops the Mr. and just calls him Strane.

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Broad City episode "Mochalatta Chills," an intern addresses Ilana as Miss Wexler. Ilana says, "Please, call me Ilana. Actually, call me Miss Wexler. That was dope."
  • From the Criminal Minds episode, "Riding the Lightning":
    [JJ enters the room where Hotch is speaking with convicted serial killer Jacob]
    Jacob: Oooh! Who are you?
    JJ: My friends call me JJ...
    Jacob: Well... hello, JJ!
    JJ: You're not my friend. You can call me Jennifer.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Boss Hogg uses his Speed Trap to stop any famous singers passing through. The fine is six months in jail or one song at the Boar's Nest. Tammy Wynette gets stopped, and sings for her freedom. After the song the Dukes go up to her and congratulate her, each calling her Miss Wynette, to which she replies, "You can call me Tammy." Then Boss Hogg steps up.
    Boss Hogg: That fine performance of yours squares the fine on this speeding ticket, Tammy.
    Tammy: You can call me Miss Wynette.
  • Played for Laughs in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where Phil throws a party and one of the high class guests obliviously asks that both Will and Phil call him what his friends call him: "Whitey". Because of his white hair. Naturally, they awkwardly refuse.
  • I, Claudius: Castor, the nickname by which Drusus Julius Caesar is commonly known, invokes this with Sejanus.
    Sejanus: Ah, Castor, how nice to see you.
    Castor: I'm Castor to my friends, Sejanus.
  • In an early episode of Law & Order, a jailhouse lawyer who had a vendetta against DA Ben Stone for getting him convicted for murder was able to overturn his own conviction, but Stone later proved that he forced a witness to lie on the stand and then killed that witness to keep him from telling anyone. At the end of the episode, the killer contemptuously addressed him as "Ben", prompting Stone to deliver a blistering Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    Stone: In polite society, Sir, you don't call people by their first name unless they ask you to. I didn't do that. You're not a friend, and you're certainly not a colleague.
  • A Running Gag on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for awhile was Carisi being on a Last-Name Basis with everyone against his will, despite his insistence that everyone call him by his nickname. Rollins hangs a lampshade on it when he meets Cragen.
    Carisi: Call me Sonny.
    Rollins: Why? No one else has.
  • Lucifer: Shortly after they meet Trixie declares Maze her new friend and then asks for her name.
    Maze: Mazikeen, but you can call me Maze.
    Chloe: Thank you, Maze.
    Maze: I didn't say you could.
  • On One Life to Live, a sleazy loan shark tries to chat with the wife of a man in debt to him. He tells her, "Call me Jimmy. All my friends call me Jimmy." She responds by very coldly and pointedly calling him "Mr. Glover" and telling him to leave her and her husband alone.
  • In Saturday Night Live's "Hogwart's Academy" sketch in Lindsay Lohan's episode, when Snape briefly gets distracted by Hermione's breasts, he tells her to call him Severus. Then he snaps out of it and says to call him Professor Snape.
  • Oddly played in Stargate SG-1. Upon meeting for the first time in the show (Daniel talking to a severely injured and possibly unconscious Cam in the hospital before that probably doesn't count), Daniel and Cam invite each other to use their first names. For the rest of the show and through the two direct-to-DVD movies, they call each other exclusively "Jackson" and "(Colonel) Mitchell".
    • Daniel also, at first, refers to him as "New Guy" (being a civilian, he's not technically under Mitchell's command; plus, Daniel has vastly more experience in the area).
  • Want to know how to identify a bad guy in Supernatural? See if they refer to Sam as Sammy. Only Dean is allowed to call him Sammy.
  • On Tatort, the team switching from "Sie" (polite, distant) to "Du" (informal, close) is usually treated as a huge deal and sometimes it takes them several episodes to get there
  • On The West Wing, very few people call President Josiah Bartlet "Jed" (other than his wife). When they do, it usually overlaps with You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious.

  • Singer Eric Bogle traditionally introduces himself in song at the start of a concert. One of the introduction songs goes:
    My name is Eric, some folk call me Eck,
    Call me Ricky and I'll break your neck,
    If you're feeling formal, Mr. Bogle will do,
    But to my friends it's Eric, and I hope that means you.

    Video Games 
  • From Deadly Premonition:
    York: FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan. Please, just call me York. That's what everyone calls me.
  • Averted in the introductory level of Hitman: Blood Money, when the guard at the amusement park gate asks for 47's name.
    47: Names are for friends, so I don't need one.
  • In Hakuouki, Chizuru politely calls all of the Shinsengumi captains by their family names and with appropriate honorifics, but Toudou Heisuke almost immediately encourages her to call him by his given name since they're nearly the same age.
  • From Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Ventus is constantly saying:
    Ventus: Call me Ven!
  • Velvet Velour, strip club owner and exotic dancer in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, goes by Velvet to most people and by V.V. to the ones she really likes. To the ones who rub her the wrong way, she's Miss Velour, and will frostily correct anyone who presumes too much. And God help you if you call her "Susan"
  • In Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, Guadalupe mentions that her friends call her Lupe. She does not mean this as an invitation to do so.
  • Fire Emblem Fates
    • Sakura's Childhood Friend and retainer Hana calls her "Lady Sakura" in front of others as a show of respect to her as a princess and her liege, but generally just calls her "Sakura" when they're alone. In Sakura and Hana's supports, Sakura says she likes it when Hana does so.
    • In Revelations, at the start of Camilla and Hinoka's B support, Hinoka asks Camilla to just call her "Hinoka," rather than "Princess Hinoka."
  • In Persona 5, both Makoto and Haru, the two third-years of the Phantom Thieves, insist that their juniors call them by their first names, rather than "senpai."
  • In The World Ends with You, upon meeting Neku and becoming his partner for the second week, Joshua mentions that his real name is Yoshiya Kiryu, but Joshua's a nickname that his parents use on him. He then adds, "I guess you can call me Joshua, too— seeing as how you're my dear, dear partner. Hee hee…" This gives a good idea what Joshua's personality is like, and Neku is not happy about about being stuck with him.

    Visual Novels 
  • In one of the earliest scenes of Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem, Princess Anaele all but demands that the player character call her "Ana." The player is then automatically prompted to offer a nickname by which Ana can call her in return.
  • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Maki Harukawa is initially annoyed by her Love Interest Kaito Momota calling her "Maki Roll," (or "Harumaki" in the original), but gradually accepts it, and even lets Himiko Yumeno call her that, too.

    Web Animation 
  • General Ironwood of RWBY asks Ozpin to drop the formalities in a cheerful, friendly tone when they're reunited in Volume 2, and the other members of the inner circle all call him by his first name, James. Five seasons later, he flips this on Oscar and by extension Ozpin, responding to the teenager using his first name with "James... is what my friends call me. To you, it's General."

  • Sleepless Domain: After becoming friendly with Undine, Heartful Punch says that Undine can call her by her real name "Kokoro", despite H.P. herself regarding it as an Embarrassing First Name. Indeed, when Undine uses the name around Heartful Punch's friends for the first time, they react with surprise, referring to "Kokoro" as "the forbidden name".

    Web Original 
  • Sylvester of Twig is just called "Sy" by his friends, and addressed by his full name otherwise. He gives a doctor permission to call him "Sy" after he saves Jamie's life.

    Western Animation  

    Real Life 
  • A temporary inversion was overheard on a WWII submarine: "Attention, this is the Captain. The Admiral will arrive for inspection in five minutes. Please don't call me Jack while he's around."
  • During the French presidential elections in 1988, a public debate opposed socialist President (and candidate to his own succession) François Mitterand and his right-wing Prime Minister Jacques Chirac. Early in the debate, Chirac started by: "Here, you are not President, and I am not Prime Minister. We are two equal candidates. You will allow that I call you Mr. Mitterrand". Mitterrand replied: "You are absolutely right, Mr. Prime Minister".
  • This can be a headache when translating works. English (at least in its 21st-century form) lacks a distinguishing mark which Spanish, Portuguese (sort of), French, German, and Latin all have, as did older forms of English (it still shows up in the King James Bible) — namely the distinction between "formal you" and "informal you". While in general "formal you" goes with the last name and "informal you" goes with the first name/nicknames, there are situations in some languages where "informal you" and the last name are combined or the other way round. German dubs of American movies are infamous for combining "Sie" ("formal you") with the first name despite no good reason being given for that in the original dialog. On some series, most notably Tatort, transitioning from "formal you" + Last Name to "informal you" + First Name is Serious Business and sometimes even involves going through hell together, sometimes it just involves a drink. And some teams still stay on "formal you" basis after years of working together (which in Germany at least is Truth in Television).